By Sam Stalling
Pedestrian Operator, is based on the idea of an old telephone operator working at a switchboard. Pedestrian Operator is taking this idea and applying it to what many of us encounter daily when walking down the street, we overhear various snippets of other people’s conversations. For this project, a participant will sit down in front of switchboard-like structure made up of a grid of lights. There will be a pair of headphones to wear and several connect/disconnect plugs to plug into various holes in the grid of lights. The participant will begin to operate Pedestrian Operator by plugging and unplugging the connect/disconnect plugs from the switchboard. This will switch on and off several different snippets of overheard conversations. The participant can choose to listen to one conversation at a time or layer multiple conversation at once. This project is intended to mimic in a physical way the auditory circumstance of a pedestrian and the unconcious choices one makes to either listen or shut out conversations as they walk down the street.
Sam Stalling is a visual artist who often incorporates performance and video in her work. Currently she is an MFA candidate at Hunter College in the Integrated Media Arts Program. Previously she lived and worked in Chicago where she collaborated on numerous projects ranging from performance art and theater to internationally screened film and video.